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County health insurance premiums up 2%

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Court votes to put portion of HUD funds into trails

By Sharon Graves

Fiscal Court gave United Healthcare the nod to provide insurance for Carroll County employees, and employees will still have a choice between two coverage options.

The county has been considering a number of options provided by Scott Brown of Phil Brown Insurance Agency, Louisville, for the past month. The United Healthcare plan was selected because it is most cost-effective for the coverage it provides.

Under the plan, premiums will increase by 2 percent, and the county will continue to pay the total cost for all employees. The estimated annual premium paid by Fiscal Court will be more than $820,000, Brown reported.

Last year, insurance premiums skyrocketed by 43 percent.

A county wellness program was discussed; no plans for such a program were made by the court.

County receives HUD funds

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson told the magistrates that the county has received $30,000 from Housing and Urban Development [HUD]. “I know of three different projects out here in the county that this money could possibly be utilized for,” Tomlinson said. “I would propose $10,000 for each of those three projects, if the money does materialize.”

The projects include a proposal to link General Butler State Resort Park with the county’s Robert Westrick Memorial Park using a trail system built along the abandoned section of the old Lock Road.

He said the $10,000 could be used by the county’s Recreational Trails Committee to pay for its master plan, which is expected to cost $20,000. Tomlinson said the Tourism Board has agreed to add $5,000 and believes Carrollton City Council may agree to contribute the remaining $5,000.

“It’s a good plan, I think,” Tomlinson said.

“What’s good about it,” Magistrate Mark Bates asked.

“I think it can bring some business to the community,” Tomlinson responded. He said the trails might attract tourists who enjoy kayaking and other river sports that can be done on the Kentucky River at Lock 1.

“I’m not interested in wasting $10,000 on a grant that we may not get,” Bates said.

“That’s fine,” Tomlinson answered. “You’re entitled to your opinion.”

Tomlinson also explained that there is an area out by the county park that needs some sewer lines and said some of the money also could be used to install sewer lines, and money from the grant also could be spent to help English with refurbishing the old school building.

“HUD has already called and asked us what we are going to do with the money,” Tomlinson said.

“My idea is to take most of the money we are going to use and put it on the [trails] project and get it done,” Magistrate Dean Miller said. “That sounds like something where we can go to work and see that money spent. If we wait on the master plan, I don’t think we’ll get anything done.”

In a compromise move, the court voted to put $5,000 of the HUD money toward development of the trails committee’s master plan and $20,000 into the first part of the trails project. No decision was made regarding how to spend the remaining $5,000 in HUD funding.

Drug bust may cost county

Carroll County may be forced to pay for drug evaluations requested by Circuit Court Judge Stephen Bates for many of those arrested in the recent five-county drug bust.  Many of those arrested in the recent drug raid have been ordered to have drug evaluations performed.  

The county might be responsible for the cost of testing inmates housed in the Carroll County Detention Center.

No action was required on the subject; Tomlinson asked the magistrates to give him permission to research the costs for the services, if required.

Court approves

County Clerk’s budget

Fiscal Court approved the 2009 budget submitted by recently elected County Clerk Alice Marsh.

Overall, Marsh said the budget reflects a 3.5 percent pay increase for her deputy’s salaries, as approved by the court to take effect July 2009.

The total budget of $331,673 reflects a 7.2 percent decrease in expenditures from 2008 of $357,383. Marsh said the decrease includes a salary reduction for her new position; her salary starts lower than that of former Clerk Marketta Brock, who retired this year after 30 years as a county employee.

Additionally, Marsh said there are no elections in 2009.

Included in the budget is funding for a new indexing system for recording legal documents filed in her office. Though still receiving bids for the purchase, Marsh said she expects the computerized system to cost at least $20,000, plus an anticipated $1,000-per-month maintence fee.

The new system will allow the clerk’s office to scan documents into a database. Researchers and anyone else needing copies will be able to access the documents via computer and print copies. Previously, the books containing the documents would have to be taken apart so that copies could be made, Marsh explained.

Marsh’s budget also includes $60,000 in funding from the state. The state provides the funding to all counties with populations under 20,000.

Court approves purchase

of radio equipment

Fiscal Court approved $1,425 for the purchase of two hand-held radio units, two mobile units and two antennas from J&N Electronics. Carroll County Coroner David Wilhoite said one hand-held and one mobile unit would pick up the fire department’s frequency; the other set would pick up the frequency used by EMS, the Carrollton Police Department and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.

The radios would be used by Wilhoite and Deputy Coroner Brent Stucker.

Board appointments OK’d

Kathy McBurney and Reggie Zap were appointed to serve on the Carroll County Extension Council board. Both three-year terms begin Jan. 1.

The court’s next meeting is 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15.